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Edible petals pack nutrients

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Source: The Seattle Times
By Barbara Quinn /The Monterey County Herald

No, I wasn’t attracted to this wine promotion just because it is the same name as my nephew, Josh. I was curious with this company’s idea that the scent of a spring flower is much like the aroma of a favorite glass of wine.

We can do more than just smell flowers this spring. Many of these pretties are edible, say plant experts. Add flower petals to salads, cheese spreads or salad dressings. Freeze them in ice cubes to dress up cold beverages. Some flowers can even be used to make wine.

The scientific name for people who eat flowers for food is floriphagia (flori-FA-gea). And it’s not a particularly new practice, say food historians. Native Americans for example, have long enjoyed eating blossoms from pumpkin and squash plants.

Edible flowers can also contribute to our nutritional health, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). Although nutritional analyses of edible flowers is limited, researchers have identified several nutrients in the petals of flowers including vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin and minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, iron and potassium.

Colorful flowers also signal the presence of phytochemicals (natural substances in plants) found to be beneficial to human health. Pigments that make roses red and nasturtiums orange for example, are rich in substances called polyphenols. These compounds are rich in antioxidant properties, which may help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Be cautious before imbibing on any flower in the garden, however. Some plants and their flowers are poisonous, caution experts at the Oregon Poison Center: ohsu.edu/xd/outreach/oregon-poison-center/you-and-your-family/plantsafety.cfm

Further, do not eat flowers purchased at a nursery or roadside stand unless it is labeled as edible. And avoid any flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides not approved for edible plants or grown in soil fertilized with untreated manure (that which has not been composted).

And if you suffer with allergies or hay fever this time of year, flower pollen might not be the best idea.

Here are a few edible flower offerings:

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is dark burgundy colored and has the aroma of dark chocolate … yum. Add the petals or young leaves to salads, say culinary experts. Enjoy with a glass of Cabernet Savignon, say experts at Josh Cellars.

Rose petals: Rose hips — the round part of the flower just below the petals — have been found to contain vitamin C, a potent antioxidant nutrient. And if roses smell good, they will probably taste good, say food experts. Use rose petals to garnish summer beverages and fruit dishes. Rose petals also make attractive cake decorations.

Lavender: Use lavender flowers in sweet as well as savory dishes, say garden experts Thompson & Morgan. Or check out the Lavender Harvest Celebration this summer at Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, Calif., with a sumptuous lunch buffet infused with lavender delicacies. (My favorite in years past was lavender lemonade.)

Nasturtium: If you can learn to spell these delightful garden climbers, you deserve to eat them. Nasturtiums are related to the cruciferous vegetable family known for their cancer-fighting abilities. Similar in taste to its close family member watercress, Nasturtium leaves and flowers have a peppery flavor that can spice up salads or sandwiches. Use the flowers to garnish steaks or casseroles, suggests Thompson & Morgan.

By the way Dandelion — the flower I love to hate — is also edible if it’s not soaked in pesticide. Some folks even make wine from it. I think I’ll stick to a nice chardonnay.Barbara Quinn /

Which flowers do you like best? What are the nutritional and dietary benefits? Which flowers will you grow?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Nutrients and Organic

Are Organic Foods More Nutritious?

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Organic Foods and Nutrition
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The more one learns about Organic Foods, the more one learns how to be a better consumer of foods and organic foods in particular. How has this changed your food buying habits? How do you feel about the nutritional value of Organic Foods vs. ‘Conventional’ Foods. Reports are put out by many sources from scientific to farmer. The scientists as you might have guess see no problem with “conventional foods” non organic foods as they supply the world with GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the additives that we see in foods. Do you think food should be a scientific lab process or a biological process? Share your comments with the community by sharing them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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Sow What! The Basics of Sowing

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Sometimes its good to get back to the basics so, lets talk about the basics of sowing. Sowing is the beginning of gardening. After you prepare the soil, form your rows and select your seeds, one must sow the seeds in order to get started. There are a few different ways to sow. One can have a water garden, container garden, a garden with beds, a garden in a greenhouse or in the ground directly. This basically boils down to 3 forms of sowing: in a container. That may include a pot or a bed. Or in the ground. Or in water. We will be covering the 2 main ways to sow: either in the ground directly or in a container such as a pot or a bed. This will cover the basics, should you require more information just post a comment and we will give you more specific details.

Sowing in a Container

Sowing in a container involves selecting soil rather than preparing the soil on the ground. You will also have to select a container. Its important that your container has a hole in the bottom to allow for water to drain. This prevents over watering. We are partial to clay pots because its organic and ideal. Metal can scorch a plant. Glass can be difficult to find but a good choice. Plastic is just not apart of our Organic Journey. The clay pot can be glazed or not. It is recommended that your tray be glazed to prevent the surface your container is on from getting moist from the water from your pot. Choose a location with the proper amount of light. Give your plant the proper amount of water and fertilize the soil so the plant can continue to pull nutrients from the soil.

Sowing in the Ground Directly

Sowing in the ground directly involves tilling, fertilizing and forming the soil into rows that will allow enough space for specific plants to grow. Each plant will need a different amount of space. Preparing the ground soil is a lot more involved since it is not all in the bag. This can get very involved including testing the soil, composting and green manures. Similar to container gardening you want to give your plants the correct amount of water and light for the plant as well as fertilize your soil on a regular basis to replenish the soil with nutrients as the plants pull the nutrients they need. This is why crop rotation is popular with farmers because different plants will pull different nutrients from the soil. To even this process out they move crops around to prevent one nutrient from being pulled from a particular spot until there is not more.

Many people are beginning gardens because of COVID 19. Now is the time to get started! What would be the benefit to you and your family to start a garden? How much do you think you can save on your grocery bill? How much do you think you could save by obtaining a plant from us to maintain and continually harvest?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

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sowing flower seeds shidonna raven garden and cook
These are the seeds from MiMi’s Flower
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Cynoglossum amabile flower
Cynoglossum amabile flower
Today Mimi’s plant is bigger than this!
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Soil Run Off

Preventing Runoff Into The Mississippi River

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Soil Run Off
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

The body is primarily made up of water. How do you feel about the protection of our water sources? How do you feel about pesticides and other farming by products running off into our water ways? How do you feel about what farmers use in the production of food that run off from soil into our water ways? What did you eat today? How did what you eat support your body as a living organism? Share your comments with the community by positing them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.

Those (farmers) interested in reducing run off on their land should contact their local NRCS (National Resources Conservation Service).

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Food & Science

What Does "Organic" Mean, and Should You Buy Organic Foods?

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Food and Science
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Is it okay to eat foods that have GMO (genetically modified food), pesticides and irradiation if we do not know the health effects? Should we be test subjects without knowing? Should food be a matter of science or biology? Eliot Coleman believes food should be more a function of biology. Do you think health producers should be responsible for any health problems you have if you get sick from foods they said were okay to eat? Is producing ‘more’ food more important than your health? Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Stay healthy.

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today.